Twitter is making its platform more accessible by adding automatically generated captions for videos. The company said the feature is rolling out to Android, iOS, and web clients. This finally allows users to enjoy videos even on mute.
Captions will appear automatically on Android and iOS while watching videos on mute. Web users will find a CC button next to the video to toggle the feature on/off. Mobile users can adjust the visibility of captions. It’s worth pointing out that auto-generated captions will only apply to newly uploaded videos on Twitter.
Where are video captions when you need them? They’re here now automatically on videos uploaded starting today.Advertisement
Android & iOS: auto-captions will show on muted Tweet videos; keep them on when unmuted via your device's accessibility settings
Web: use the "CC" button to turn on/off pic.twitter.com/IHJAI31IvX
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) December 14, 2021
Unfortunately, there’s currently no mechanism to report incorrect captions. But speaking to The Verge (via), a Twitter spokesperson said, “we’re always looking at ways to improve our accessibility features.”
The feature is pretty straightforward and doesn’t require the users to do much. In all likelihood, you’ve already witnessed auto-generated captions on your Twitter feed but don’t know it yet. Twitter has been somewhat slow in addressing concerns about accessibility on its platform. Following criticism from activists in 2020, the company instituted two new accessibility teams.
Twitter waited a full year before bringing auto-captions for voice tweets
Twitter received significant pushback when it launched voice tweets in 2020 without automatic captions. The company finally brought captions for voice tweets in July this year. Similar to how it works on videos, captions won’t appear on older voice tweets either. Notably, Twitter’s Clubhouse rival, “Spaces,” already offers auto-generated captions.
Apps like TikTok have also waited a while before rolling out auto-captions. The platform introduced the feature in April this year. Prior to this, creators had to generate subtitles for their clips manually. TikTok’s implementation also allows creators to modify or edit the captions. Meanwhile, viewers also have the option to disable automatic captions altogether.
As for Twitter, the company is testing a new reporting process for tweets that violate its harmful behavior norms. Moreover, the app could also implement a new process for flagging tweets. Evidently, the company’s reporting process was in desperate need of a revamp given the intricacies of the options involved. With the new test feature, Twitter said it wants to adopt a “people first” approach towards reporting harmful behavior.